Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Can We Really Afford Universal Healthcare?

Before I answer that question someone has to define the exact meaning of universal healthcare. In an attempt to open some eyes I want to post something from the Wall Street Journal. Are Amercians prepared to give more and more of their earnings to the federal government to subsidize its growing appetite for cash?

When Medicare was created in 1965, benefits were relatively limited and retirees paid a substantial percentage of the costs of their own care. But the clout of retirees has always led to expanding benefits for seniors while raising taxes on younger workers.

In 1965, Congressional actuaries expected Medicare to cost $3.1 billion by 1970. In 1969, that estimate was revised to $5 billion, and it actually came in at $6.8 billion. That same year, the Senate Finance Committee declared a Medicare cost emergency. In 1979, Jimmy Carter proposed limiting benefits, only to have the bill killed by fellow Democrats. Things have gotten worse since, and Medicare today costs $455 billion and rising.

Medicaid was intended as a last resort for the poor but now covers one-third of all long-term care expenses in the U.S. -- that is, it has become a middle-class subsidy for aging parents of the Baby Boomers. Its annual bill is $227 billion, and so far this fiscal year is rising by 17%.

The ironic thing with those figures. They almost add up to the bailout given to the financial institutions.

One of the biggest government expansion programs came under George Bush-Medicare Part D. What is America really prepared to afford? Correct me if I am wrong. Aren't those Iraq war costs that Obama campaigned against still occurring while George Bush is back in Texas?

1 comment:

just ed said...

I told Scott Gartley in 2005 I would go to the IRS Well I did and these crooks did not sue me yet still waiting for them to fall getting closer